Occupational hygiene is the anticipation, recognition, evaluation and control of conditions at a mine that may cause illness or have adverse health effects on persons.
One of the integral provisions of the Mine Health and Safety Act, 1996 ( Act 29 of 1996), as amended, is to protect the workers in the mining industry from exposure to occupational health hazards such as dusts, fibres, chemicals, noise, thermal stresses and radiation.
The Mine Health and Safety Inspectorate aims to eliminate or reduce worker exposure to the different occupational health hazards within the South African mining industry by means of enforcing section 9.2 of the Mine Health and Safety Act, 1996 ( Act 29 of 1996), as amended.
The secondary objective of the Occupational Hygiene section of the Mine Health and Safety Inspectorate is to provide technical support to the different tripartite committees in pursuance of the formulation of policies towards the elimination and reduction of workers exposure to health hazards.
Regulation 9.2(7) of the Mine Health and Safety Act, 1996 ( Act 29 of 1996), as amended, requires the mines in South Africa to submit statutory reports on personal exposure monitoring to occupational hygiene stressors.
These occupational hygiene statutory returns should be submitted to respective regional offices of the Mine Health and Safety Inspectorate of the Department of Mineral Resources.
The employer must establish, maintain and record occupational hygiene measurements. Section 12.1 of the Mine Health and Safety Act, 1996 ( Act 29 of 1996), as amended, prescribes that an employer must engage the services of a part-time or full-time person - qualified in occupational hygiene techniques - to measure the levels of exposure to hazards at the mines in South Africa.
The assessment of the extent of worker exposure to hygiene hazards is determined from the mandatory reports and remedial interventions to eliminate or reduce worker exposure to:
Every system of occupational hygiene measurements must consider the hazards to which the employees at the mine are or may be exposed to. This information can be used in determining measures to eliminate, control and/or minimise the health risks and hazards to which employees are or may be exposed to.
Records of all occupational hygiene measurements in terms of Sub-section (1) should be maintained in such a manner that it can be linked to each employee's record of medical surveillance. For more information, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The development of the South African Mines’ Occupational Hygiene Programme or SAMOHP was mandated by the Mine Health and Safety Council to record exposures to significant occupational hazards in the South African mining industry.
The large South African mining industry workforce is exposed to many different contaminated environments. These are airborne pollutants such as dusts (silica quartz, coal dust, etc.), fibres and other harmful chemical substances, physical agents - such as noise, thermal stress - and radiation.
The Department of Mineral Resources believes that there must be a centralised system through which the correlation between hazardous exposures and occupational related diseases are recorded, tracked and managed.
To download the copies of the South African Mines’ Occupational Hygiene Programme or SAMOHP, please click here.
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The Annual Self-Contained Self-Rescuer Reports are compiled by the Mining Technology Division of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research in terms of its appointment by the Chief Inspector of Mines as an accredited testing authority.
It annually (1 January - 31 December) reviews the general status of self-contained self-rescuers deployed in the South African mining industry. These reports also identify the commitment levels of the different mines and/or shafts taking part in the ongoing monitoring programme, as well as their infrastructures, specifically about maintenance levels, control, record keeping and user training.
The mines and/or shafts are identified only in code and, in descending order of merit, according to identified categories to denote the level of compliance with the relevant Department of Mineral Resources’ Directives B6 and B9.
To download copies of the Annual Self-Contained Self-Rescuer Reports, please see the Download Resources Section below.
Directive B6: Guideline for the monitoring of SCSR
Directive B6: Guideline for the monitoring of SCSR Appendix I (Statistical basis for sample size)
Directive B6: Guideline for the monitoring of SCSR Appendix II (Method of assessment)
Directive B6: Guideline for the monitoring of SCSR Appendix III (Approval specifications and rejections limits)
Directive B9: Guideline for a COP for lamprooms (GME 14/6/14/1)
Directive B9: Guideline for a COP for lamproom covering gas detection instrumentation SCSR and portable lamps (GME 16-2-9)
Directive B9_Guideline for a COP for lamproom covering gas detection instrumentation SCSR and portable lamps (1995-01-20)
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